Mauro Zarate got things started in this one. 17 minutes on; West Ham got a corner that led to the long scoring chance. The goalie was out of position and had a few players blocking his view. This helped Zarate score an opening goal.
The rest of the first half was a back and forth struggle. No real advantage for either team. But two rough plays by Nemanja Matic that garnered a yellow card in the 35th minute and a red card in the 44th. Matic was sent off and Chelsea would move forward with only ten.
But the cards would continue. Cesar Azpilicueta, Cesc Fabregas, Willian and Diego Costa all got yellow. Even replacement John Obi Mikel got carded. One of the coaches was sent off before halftime over the dust up started by Matic. And Jose Mourinho would not return after halftime and instead watched the rest of the match from the Director’s Box.
When stacked up against 1 yellow card against Cheikhou Kouyate, it seems paltry in comparison. Not sure what that says. But that is sign to someone indeed.
Chelsea came back though. A laser from Gary Cahill got the Blues back into things in the 56th minute. Reason to believe they could salvage this match. The visiting side was not out of this.
Until Andy Carroll headed in the winner. Just minutes after replacing goalscorer Zarate; Carroll scored one of his own. That was all West Ham would need.
Chelsea is going to need a lot more. Defense is one thing they are in need of support time now. Along with Carroll’s, Chelsea has conceded 5 others. That the most headers in the Barclay’s Premier League this season so far. I think their defense is the reason.
Goalie is usually the first place most would look. I did not see much wrong with the play of the starter Asmir Begovic. Other cracks exist on the defense.
I would look at that back line though. Both Carroll and Zarate torched them for their goals. They were free to take the positions they needed. West Ham had two additional solid chances as well. I think the back line needs help.
Particularly the 6’3” Andy Carroll. Kurt Zouma is the same. So is Gary Cahill. But John Terry and Cesar Azpilicueta both fall short. But why not overmatch?
John Brooks is 6’4”. He is with Bundesliga’s fifth place team Hertha BSC. He is an asset. He is an overwhelming force. Not sure if he is ready to make a move from his hometown club though.
I am sure there are more tall defenders out there. And conversely , the offense needs to be imposing. I don’t think Diego Costa is that. Going a man down; they just did not get scarier. I guess that is why a Defender had to put the ball in the net.
It was a good Saturday match. Congrats to the victors. London Derby’s can be tough but Ham got the best of this one.